Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Mojado, pero Feliz

Rain is natures way of reminding you how  lucky you are to have a warm house and dry bed. It complicates daily life in the backcountry by coating everything with an inescapable dampness that permeates through your tent, clothes, and socks, all the way down to your soul.   It is a melancholy beauty that blends the sky with the earth and desaturates the color from flowers, food, and our skin. I admit I thought summer here would be full of sunshine and warm wind, but I neglected the fact I was headed for a temperate RAINforest. Oops. For a Santa Barbara girl, I must admit that I have romanticized rain to walk hand in hand with the warm dry place. This past week has been humbling and now, from a warm cafe, I look back amazed that my body can withstand 5 days of being more wrinkled than a soggy raisin. 
When we arrived in Cochamo after 2 hours in a yellow bus, rain greeted us with open arms. I giggled with excitement  as I felt the earth around me being nourished. It still held rank for being my favorite weather at this point. We huddled up for the night in an old work shed and hurriedly set up camp when the rain lifted momentarily. The one thing about rain that I will never get tired of is the sound on the canvas of my tent. I managed to stay semi dry as I snuggled into bed for the night. 
The next morning was a race against the rain, again, and we packed up and hiked up an insanely muddy horse trail. It is a challenge to hike in a group where some people like to run with their 50 pound packs and others prefer to absorb the world around them with a slow and steady pace. We made it, however, and even through my wet and tired self, La Junta managed to melt my heart wih all of its grandeur and beauty. 
We set up camp and played a game of soccer with the other campers. Somehow all of the girls in my group ended up on one team and provided entertainment for the bystanders. I enjoy playing a sport I am absolutely horrible at. A well deserved dinner was made under a tarp at base camp. Rain certainly brings us closer together.
Luckily we hiked in fresh veggies.
The next couple days rolled out the same. It was a constant battle to maintain dryness when the world around you is doing everything in its power to soak you. I don't mean to sound like I am complaining, rather I am just emphasizing how much of a struggle I faced with this new climate. Anyways, I followed some climbers up to a Pareda seco, or dry wall where an overhang protects a wall to climb. One of them was kind enough to set up a route to top rope but wild lands protocol prohibits climbing on course. I shed a tear and sucked up the sadness while I wishfully watched others play on the wall.
Warmth was found at a cozy Refugio set up by an American man and his wife. It is a climber princesa paradise.
The only words flowing through my mind to sum up the feelings of that trip are wet and gray and soggy and damp, so I will wrap up this blog with pictures. Thanks again for spending time to learn about my life. I hope wherever you are, adventure is finding you in good health.
Towels are good for everything.
Chef Morgan 
Staying dry! Joe and lily!
Night life with Perri and Jose Antonio. New friends and broken Spanish. 
Why not visit waterfalls when the sky is a waterfall?

Tea for tired hikers
Sour moods made better by warm smoke and appropriate towels.
This is school work.
Fresh baked bread from the Refugio with Manjar (Chilean caramel sauce). It has an alarm trumpet at 4:00 to which hungry campers run to buy a loaf. 
Rain rain go away.
Then this outfit showed up in my life...
Happy campers with treasure hats. 
Dinner is my second favorite time of the day right after breakfast.
My cook group! Yuling and Kate :)
Mate is making its way into my life. 
After a warm shower, a bottle of wine is necessary in our hostal in Castro.
This morning has been sunny off and on. I felt like a cat when I curled up on the window seat with my sleeping bag absorbing as much sun as possible.
And why not put a giant yellow cathedral made out of tin in the middle of the city?
It reminds me of laffy taffy, what do you think?
We are a funny bunch, enjoying good coffee is a rare opportunity.
And to sum it all up a shot of espresso to kick off a day of catching up on studies and school work. 

As coffee infiltrated my system, my post became scattered with it. I send my love and happiness your way all the way from Castro. 

Amor y Besos,
Hannah bangs

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